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Therapeutic angiogenesis with basic fibroblast growth factor: technique and early results

F W Sellke, R J Laham, E R Edelman, J D Pearlman, M Simons
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 1998, 65 (6): 1540-4

BACKGROUND: Patients not amenable to complete myocardial revascularization by conventional methods present a difficult clinical problem. Here we present the early results and technical considerations of the administration of basic fibroblast growth factor for the induction of collateral growth using heparin-alginate slow-release devices in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

METHODS: Eight patients were enrolled. Patients were candidates if they had at least one graftable obstructed coronary artery and at least one major arterial distribution not amenable to revascularization, a serum creatinine level less than 3 mg/dL, ejection fraction greater than 0.20, and estimated operative mortality of less than 25%. During conventional coronary artery bypass grafting, 10 heparin-alginate devices, each containing either 1 microg or 10 microg of basic fibroblast growth factor, were implanted in the epicardial fat in multiple regions of the unrevascularizable territory and also in the distal distribution of a grafted or patent artery.

RESULTS: There was no mortality and no evidence of renal, hematologic, or hepatic toxicity during follow-up. Three months after the operation, all patients remain free of angina. Seven patients were examined with stress perfusion scans. Three patients had clear enhancement of perfusion to the unrevascularized myocardium, 1 patient had a new fixed defect, and 3 had minimal overall change but had evidence of new small, fixed perfusion defects. Seven patients had improved or similar myocardial contractile function (ejection fraction at 3-month follow-up = 0.53 +/- 0.22 versus 0.47 +/- 0.14 preoperatively). One patient suffered a perioperative myocardial infarction in the area of basic fibroblast growth factor administration.

CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary study demonstrates the safety and technical feasibility of therapeutic angiogenesis with basic fibroblast growth factor delivered by heparin-alginate slow-release devices. Further studies examining the safety, clinical efficacy, and long-term results are ongoing.

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